From Ascot to Del Mar to Suffolk Downs, Jerry Bailey was aboard 59 stakes winners around the world in 2000. Bailey, an Eclipse Award winner in four of the past six years and a finalist in the other two, was edged by Pat Day in 2000 earnings by North American-based horses. Day finished $11,148 ahead of Bailey's $17,468,690. Call it a photo finish.
Bailey is omnipresent on racing's biggest days, often with the winner's garland draped over his knees. In 2000, he celebrated after the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) with Red Bullet, the Arlington Million (gr. IT) with Chester House, and twice on Breeders' Cup day with Frank Stronach's homebreds Macho Uno and Perfect Sting. All told, Bailey was aboard for 15 grade I wins. Two of the horses that carried him there--Macho Uno and Perfect Sting--were named Eclipse Award winners.
Bailey is still identified most with two-time Horse of the Year Cigar, but his list of 2000 mounts reads like a who's who in racing, from King Cugat to Silverbulletday to Yonaguska. One top mount, whose earnings do not apply to his North American figures, is Dubai Millennium. Bailey was aboard for his Prince of Wales's (Eng-I) win in June at Royal Ascot.
During Derby week of 1999, Bailey talked about what keeps him riding.
"We all entered this sport to make a living, so somewhere down the line money comes into play. When I start the year, I want to be No. 1. That's my goal...money earned," he said. "I don't know that there's a milestone, maybe I can reach 5,000...and I maybe wouldn't hang around for 5,000. For me, there's not a particular number. You have to look at the total picture."
Through Jan. 4, Bailey's career statistics show 26,370 national and international starts and 4,830 wins, good for a winning rate of 18%.